The Long-Rumored Apple Car Project is Apparently on Track

Apple is the 30 company to obtain a testing permit in California, and it joins its fellow tech giants like Tesla Motors, Uber and Google, which has an independent self-driving auto subsidiary called Waymo, in the race to develop autonomous technology.

San Francisco - Apple plans to start testing self-driving cars on California roads, but it is not clear whether the world's most valuable tech company wants to design or build autonomous vehicle technology.

After months of speculation that the company is developing automotive technology, Apple has leapt into the war for self-driving cars by obtaining a test permit from California regulators. Under the state's testing regulations, all autonomous vehicles on the road will require a person behind the wheel to monitor testing.

Apple has officially joined the race to design self-driving cars. Apple executives have never spoken at length about the company's effort in the space, but a number of leaks provide a glimpse at what the company is up to.

The permit does not necessarily mean Apple is building a vehicle. Most other companies holding the testing permit are technology startups. However, as the tech giant begins testing what it calls "Project Titan", it is expected that more details regarding the autonomous vehicle and its technology will be revealed in due time.

Apple declined to comment, referring to public remarks that it had submitted to federal highway authorities in November on its research into automation. The company told The Associated Press that the permit will cover three types of vehicles and six individual drivers. Its interest in autonomous vehicle technology, however, has always been clear.

The list, which can be viewed on the website for California's Department of Motor Vehicles, was updated on April 14, with "Apple Inc." having been newly added.

Almost 25 companies have been granted permission by California DMV for self-driving vehicles.

  • Carolyn Briggs